JICA Research Institute

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Working Papers

No.141 Effect of School Factors on Gender Gaps in Learning Opportunities in Rural Senegal: Does School Governance Matter?

In the international sphere, gender equality is primarily discussed in relation to the gender parity index (GPI), a female to male ratio of enrollment. This paper attempts to adopt a wider scope of gender equality that includes continuous learning and achievement. By using the data from 306 primary schools in rural Senegal, collected by the Japan International Cooperation Agency Research Institute (JICA-RI), this paper examined school factors that affect the gender gaps in internal efficiency and learning achievement by considering policy input and the environment at the school level. The results show that the existence of a school management committee (“CGE”), is associated with lower dropout rates for both boys and girls and that the amount of financial contribution made by a CGE is correlated with fewer gender gaps in the number of dropouts and the repetition rate. We also found that providing parents with a periodic report on students’ attendance and learning achievements as well as offering remedial lessons is negatively correlated with gender gaps in the repetition rate. Although we need to further investigate the mechanism that brought about this result, learning support initiatives may affect students differently according to gender depending on how one plans and implements them. School-level interventions should mainstream gender considerations so as to ensure gender equality in learning processes and achievements.

Keywords: gender, primary education, SABER, school governance, Senegal, rural schools

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